The Theme for the year is “The Kingdom” and what that entails for us.

  1. Parables

One of the chief ways that Jesus taught the meaning of the kingdom of God (heaven) is through the use of parables.  1/3 of Jesus teachings are parables so they are pretty common.

Parables are not riddles.with a deep meaning that we have to try and find out.

  1. Not deep allegory that people can’t find out the meaning of.
  2. Like Sermon illustrations used to bring home a point.
  3. Rabbi stated that  a parable is like a bucket and rope that we can use to get water out of a well.

Jesus was not trying to confuse people by using parables, he was trying to bring home a point that they could understand. or was a above their head.  This was 1/3 of his teachings so why would you not want people to understand what you are saying?

Doesn’t the Bible say Jesus spoke in parables so people would not understand?

Matthew 13: 10 Why do you speak in parables?

Matthew 13: 11, 12 you understand the message of the kingdom of God.

What is that message? Matthew 4: 17 Repent of your sins and turn to God for the Kingdom of God is near.

  1. Disciples get it because they have turned their lives around
  2. People have not because  they continue in their sins.
  3. So I teach them in simple form (parables) so they get it.

Then he quotes Isaiah Matthew 13: 13 – 15 The people in Isaiah’s time did not repent and turn to God for healing.

The people in Isaiah’s time have heard the message, but have become unable to respond to it.

Vs 13 You are blessed because you see and hear what is happening.

What stops us from responding?

Most basic parable that we have to understand if we are going to grasp any of them.

2. The Seed

Seed is the word of God not just the bible and we will come back to that in a moment.

Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.

Why doesn’t this have the effect it should?  Why are we like the people Isaiah talked about when we hear?  No effect.

Disciples huge effect and producing a harvest, while others no effect and no harvest.

Ground it falls on.

3. Hard ground.

Hear and gone in a moment.

Hebrews 3: 15 – 19 Harden hearts when they heard the word of God.

Hebrews 4: 2 They did not mix it with faith.

Faith comes by hearing the word of God Romans 10: 17

Problem we are in  We have heard hearts because we don’t have faith and we don’t have faith because our hearts are hard.

4. Word of God

Word of God is living and active Hebrews 4: 12, 13

Jesus is the living word becoming flesh which is why it is more than just the bible.

We have hard hearts before God and need to be exposed before him. We resist the need to repent before him.

Hosea 10: 12 Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will harvest a crop of love.  Plow up the hard ground of your hearts for now is the time to seek the lord that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.